Monday, March 1, 2010

A Healing Place




The bird sounds wake me even though I only got a few hours of sleep because we arrived quite late last night. As we're both in need to detoxification, we decided to spend 5 weeks (or longer perhaps) at an authentic Ayurvedic hospital here in Tamil Nadu in the south of India where the mother of medicine all began.

The manually hand-pulled bell from our compound tells me it’s 7am. Motorbike and tuk-tuk horns grow in number as the morning ages. As I lay in bed, I am curious as the action in the village picks up. Our hospital is in a secured gated area but since our cottage is on an upper floor you can see all the bustle going on.

I go to the window in the kitchen while hubby sleeps on. We have large bright pink and orange colored bouganvilla trees outside our window. And underneath them, some rubbish and a couple of old empty coconuts. Across the street just outside a very simple home (probably without electricity or running water) is a man in a skirt (I’ve noticed that’s common here and actually looks quite comfortable) standing reading his newspaper. Nearby him, a young boy (maybe around 9) brushes his teeth while intently watching the action on the little road. Women in sarees and grocery bags walk by. I notice a store “Krishna’s Demolition Services”. A dog saunters by determinedly. I see an old white-haired woman in a bright pink saree walk by. She was wearing shoes that must be 3 sizes too big for her. Holding her hand was a young girl in a light green pajama kurta with a pink shawl. The child was skipping at every third step or so. The sound of a very cheap version of a popular bollywood song echoes through the air followed by a “halo?”. Then I hear religious music…probably coming from the temple. Our hospital has a lovely temple here on the campus deditated to Lord Dhanwanthari, the God of Ayurveda and healing.

I step outside onto our verandana. My body gladly soaks up the brisk coolness of the morning air.  A woman in a simple green saree uniform sweeps the lovely tree-lined path of the hospital's grounds. I see sleepy patients gradually emerging from their bungalows and head towards the canteen for some breakfast or towards the temple for a healing pooja. A frail woman in a gold saree carries on her hip a large flat basket filled with white cloth or towels. A man near her balances metal jugs at the end of each hand.

The smell of insense envelopes the compound. I am curious as to my life here for the next month. What will happen here? Who will I meet? What will I learn? How will I feel? How will Mahesh feel? How will our bodies change? 

My mind is open.
My body is open.
My heart is open.

8 comments:

Mary Elizabeth Liberty said...

Ooh, I am so happy to hear you're there and I hope you can renew inside and out. Take it all in for me, I got such a kick out of those Tamil Nadu men in skirts too...

♥ Braja said...

I'm looking forward to the reports, Shireena....sounds wonderful. Welcome back to India :)

Shireena said...

Thank you, Mary! I look forward to the renewal.

Braja! Always nice to hear from you. It feels so good and right to be back. India really does something to me. My heart is here and I feel at home oddly enough and in balance even with all the unfamiliar and foreign things.

Anrosh said...

the healing place sounds very good. good luck.

Patricia Torres said...

Sounds very interesting.... Love the pics on your blog... Lovely!!

MLE said...

Just happened upon your blog as I was renewing mine! Will look forward to following it.

Sharanya said...

men in skirts..those skirts are called lungi :)
This time in tamilnadu is pretty humid..but maybe you are somewhere deep south..:) Enjoy your stay

Shireena said...

Arosh, Hello and thanks for stopping by!

Patrica, thank you for your kind words.

MLE - hi there - thanks for visiting. Am on my way to your blog now. =)

Sharanya,
A lungi! Good - thank you for telling me. I love them. Thanks for stopping by. Your photos are beautiful by the way. And of my favorite topic as well =)